BOCA RATON, Fla. – Rehearsals for "Spring Awakening" began before the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. For the survivors performing at the production's opening night Wednesday, it was a courageous step forward.
"Even after everything that happened, we need this show now more than ever," Sawyer Garrity said.
Garrity is one of six Marjory Stoneman Douglas survivors, who took the stage for Wednesday's premiere at the Black Box Theater in Boca Raton.
"I'm really excited and I'm also really nervous," said Garrity, who plays Wendla, the female lead.
Stoneman Douglas senior Cameron Kasky, one of the leaders of student activists behind the March for Our Lives rally in Washington, also stars.
This wasn't your average night of community theater. The production is generating national attention. Writers from Vanity Fair and the New York Times were in the audience along with the musical's creators, Steven Sater and Duncan Sheik.
Wednesday performance was sold out and so are two of the next three shows.
The Tony award winning Broadway musical is a coming-of-age story set in late 19th-century Germany.
"It's about teenagers using their voice and standing up to adults, which is just so relevant to what's going on now," Garrity said.
Garrity and her classmates started rehearsing for the play before the mass shooting at the school that left 17 people dead and wounded more than a dozen others.
The Marjory Stoneman Douglas junior said going on with the show wasn't easy.
"There was like that question -- Should we do the show? Can we even do the show? Garrity said. "We have to finish what we started."
“Spring Awakening” continues with sold out performances Sunday and Monday at Boca Black Box Center for the Arts, 8221 Glades Road, No. 10, in Boca Raton. Seats are still available for the final performance at 7 p.m. Wednesday. Tickets are $20 and $30. For tickets, call 561-483-9036 or visit BocaBlackBox.com or BarclayPerformingArts.com.